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A pair of Cleveland cops who rushed to rescue a driver from a fiery crash insist they are not heroes.
Officers David Kelley and Brian Crites saw a man's yellow Mazda hit a railroad overpass support beam and burst into flames Thursday morning around 2:15 a.m. local time, NBC affiliate WKYC reported. The officers placed a desperate call for assistance from firefighters.
"This guy is trapped in his car and it started a fire," Crites can be heard saying on a dispatch call. "Step 'em up, please."
But as the flames grew, the officers realized the man's life was in jeopardy with every second that passed.
"Tell fire to step it up, please. We've got entrapment. We need to get him out," Crites can be heard saying to dispatch.
Instead of waiting for the fire department, the officers — who didn't have fire extinguishers or protective clothing — ran to the burning vehicle. The driver, a 26-year-old man who has not been identified, stuck his head out the window.
"He had a split down his forehead and he said, 'Help me,'" Kelley told WKYC.
The officers tore down the door to the car and pulled the man out, unsure how severe his injuries were.
"I'll be honest with you. My stomach was turning," Crites said.
Police said the driver was taken to Metro Health Medical Center in serious condition. He is expected to recover, WKYC reported. Both officers are doing alright.
"We were just doing our job," Crites said.